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Conditions look favorable for the next slate of back-to-back Space Coast launches due to fly from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station this week.
If schedules hold, SpaceX is the first to go up on KSC’s pad 39A with another batch of Starlink Internet satellites scheduled to lift off between 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 18. The Space Force said Monday that conditions should be 80%. “go” for that Falcon 9 rocket liftoff.
“Southern winds will keep temperatures elevated in Central Florida and allow daily sea breeze interactions to produce isolated showers and thunderstorms each afternoon and evening,” said Delta 45 space launch meteorologists. “Tuesday and Wednesday, the remnants of the boundary will pool primarily north of the Space Coast, but will add ingredients to improve rainfall and thunderstorm coverage and intensity.”
This will mark the company’s 48th launch for the Internet constellation and, along a northeasterly trajectory, will include the landing of an unmanned ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Some 36 hours after Falcon 9, United Launch Alliance is next on the Eastern Ridge. An Atlas V rocket equipped with a Boeing Starliner capsule will fly the company’s second attempt to autonomously reach the International Space Station with no crew on board after a 2019 version failed and had to return to Earth earlier than planned. .
Conditions should be 70% “go” for liftoff Thursday at 6:54 pm ET from Cape Launch Complex 41.
“For (the rocket launch) on Wednesday, mostly dry conditions are forecast with only a small chance, less than 20%, of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm as the Atlantic sea breeze develops and moves westward. inland,” forecasters said Monday. “Similar conditions are expected Thursday with isolated afternoon activity expected to develop near or just west of the launch complex.”
If all goes according to plan, Atlas V will carry Starliner into orbit, where it will fly to and dock with the ISS. After a yet-to-be-announced period attached to the outpost, Starliner will undock and return to land at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Both Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon were selected by NASA to return astronauts to the ISS after the space shuttle program ended in 2011. SpaceX has flown five crews since 2020, while Boeing hopes to fly for first time this year if Thursday’s release goes well.
Boeing’s mission is also known as Orbital Flight Test 2 or OFT-2.
For the latest news, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Contact Emre Kelly at email@example.com or 321-242-3715. follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly.
Launch Wednesday May 18
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: 48th Starlink Launch
- Launch time: 6:10 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. ET
- Launch Pad: 39A at the Kennedy Space Center
- Trajectory: Northeast
- Landing: drone
- Weather: 80% “go”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 5 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 18 for real-time updates and videos of the Falcon 9 launch.
Launch Thursday May 19
- Rocket: United Launch Alliance Atlas V
- Mission: Boeing Starliner 2 Orbital Flight Test
- Release time: 6:54 p.m. EDT
- Launch Complex: 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Trajectory: Northeast
- Weather: 70% “go”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 19 for real-time updates and videos of the Atlas V launch.